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St Fulbert de Chartres

Saint Fulbert


Who was saint Fulbert of Chartres ?

The most eminent person whom Chartres may be pride of. Well known savant, extraordinary builder, he has been the foreman of the reconstruction of the cathedral after the gigantic fire that destroyed the cathedral on September 7th 1020.

Teacher of profane sciences he was a politician in the modern sense who was in permanent contacts with the great of this world at this time.

His origins and his life :

To the contrary of his predecessors and followers, all from noble ascent, he was born in a poor family, as he used to say about himself, but he never said where nor a word about his youth.

We have proof of his passage in Reims in 984, during his time with Archbishop Gerbert d'Aurillac, the future Pope Sylvester II.

Sent to Chartres, he will teach during 20 years prior to be named Bishop of this town at the age of 50. He will die on April 10th 1028. Since April 10th 1861, the Church celebrate saint Fulbert at this date.

The scientist :

He teaches theology but also sociology, grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, medicine, music and even the use and handling of the astrolabe. His nick name among his fellows is "Venerable Socrates of the Academy of Chartres"

The theologian :

He believed that mankind had received the divine mark the day of birth. Faith made him a Christian but life remained a struggle. This was an extremely modern theory at the time which left freedom to mankind in front of  his creator. He had a definite spiritual devotion centered on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Among the 128 important letters from him that reach us, the first one is a clear and precise explanation about three points of the dogma, the mystery of the Trinity, the nature of the Baptisms and the Eucharist. It is interesting to note that he wrote an important treaty regarding the Jews. 

Diplomat :

Right after the 1020 fire that destroyed the cathedral, his charism enable him to obtain support not only from ordinary people but also from the great of the world at the time, including from pagans sovereigns such as Knut, king of Denmark et England. At last, he publicly condemns the Bishops who "bear arms", remembering them their duty of Charity. The School of Chartres that he created will survive him 20 years to leave the place to the Paris Sorbonne. L'homme le plus éminent dont Chartres peut se glorifier. Savant de renom, extraordinaire bâtisseur, il fut le maître d'oeuvre de la reconstruction de la cathédrale, après l'incendie du 7 septembre 1020. Enseignant en sciences profanes, il fut un homme politique au sens moderne, qui entretint des rapports suivis avec les grands et les puissants de cette époque.

Copyright © 1999 René Margeridon

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